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Turkey Pesto Pasta

November 19, 2017

Leftover turkey stars in this delicious, no-fuss pasta dish. Make it your own by adding diced bell peppers or by substituting chopped broccoli for the peas.

Serves six people.


  • 2 to 3 cups cooked turkey or chicken, diced
  • One 12-ounce package cut pasta, such as caserecce, fusilli or bow ties
  • 2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil, or more as needed
  • 1 cup (or more to taste) crimini mushrooms, sliced
  • 1/2 yellow onion, diced
  • 1 tablespoon dry sherry (optional)
  • 1 cup (or more to taste) frozen peas
  • One 8-ounce container mascarpone cheese
  • Half or more of one 6- to 7-ounce container prepared pesto
  • 1/4 cup grated Parmesan cheese
  • 1/4 cup shredded Parmesan cheese


Heat a large pot of water to a boil for cooking the pasta. Heat 2 tablespoons olive oil in a large skillet over medium heat.
Add mushrooms and onion to the skillet and saute until onions are translucent and mushrooms release their juices. Add a splash of sherry if desired.

Meanwhile, add pasta to the boiling water and cook according to package directions.

Add peas to the skillet, then the entire container of mascarpone. Let the cheese melt gently as the peas heat. When the mascarpone is melted, add about half the container of pesto and stir to combine. Stir in the grated the Parmesan and taste the sauce. You may want to add additional pesto for flavor. Add the cooked turkey and stir to combine.

Transfer drained, cooked pasta to the skillet and gently stir until pasta is coated with sauce. Serve immediately, topped with a sprinkle of shredded Parmesan.

Cook’s note: Mascarpone cheese is a quick and easy cream sauce base. It will melt much faster if you bring it to room temperature before adding it to the pan. For cut pasta, lifting the pasta out of its cooking water with a kitchen spider is much easier than draining it in a colander. If you need to thin your sauce, add a bit of the pasta cooking water.